Edwards Includes Support for Service-Learning in Education Plan

Posted by aaronjmarquez on September 21, 2007

Today, former-U.S. Senator John Edwards announced his education agenda in a major policy address in Des Moines, Iowa. We’re thrilled that his plan includes support for high schools across the country that have service-learning requirements for graduation.

Support High School Service Programs

The energy and enthusiasm of high school students who want to make their community and their country a better place to live. One type of service program, service-learning, has been shown to have positive impacts on students’ civic engagement, college enrollment, career development, and personal relationships. Nearly half of school-age children lack the activities and role models that are opportunities to make a difference through helping others. Edwards will create a Community Corps service programs for high school students. It will provide resources to high schools that choose to make community service a graduation requirement, helping them make service opportunities higher in quality and integrate them into the curriculum. [NYLC, 2006; America’s Promise Alliance, undated]

This afternoon at a house party in Hooksett, Elizabeth Edwards was asked by a parent about how to make the cost of college more bearable for working class families. In response, she touted her husband’s proven College for Everyone program, which gives college freshmen in North Carolina a free first year of state university-valued study in trade for working 10 hours/week or volunteering 10 hours/week with a local non-profit organization. (The program is also open to NC residents who attend private institutions of higher education with the state chipping in the price of tuition at public school.)

What was new to me today was the notion that students could serve their local campus community – not just work in a for-profit job! Hats off to the College for Everyone program. Now how are students to pay for the final three years? Well, we have some ideas…

We’ll be at tomorrow morning’s Education Roundtable in Bow with Mrs. Edwards to learn more!


2 Responses to “Edwards Includes Support for Service-Learning in Education Plan”

  1. What\’s a web surfer to do? I was going along, searching for some info on Learning & Education, and saw a link here. You can bet I\’ll be bookmarking this site TODAY (Saturday). Great post!

  2. John Edwards’ recognition of service-learning’s impact on teaching and learning is important as the research builds for it’s inclusion in any forward thinking school reform plan. Along with it’s popularity for the college-bound, the evidence for service-learning’s power to engage the least involved student has also brought attention to its value in preventing school dropouts.

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